French Ambassador Declares the Degas House a French Monument
NEW ORLEANS – The Degas House was recently bestowed with a tremendous honor. It received the Maisons des Illustres (may-sawn D Loose) or Houses of the Famous official marker from French Ambassador to the United States, Philippe Etienne (en-t-en), while he was visiting New Orleans.
“I’m really moved that during this visit we have this celebration of a great artist who has played a very, very important role in the history of painting and art but also someone who embodies the links, the best friendship that we can imagine between the US and France, between Louisiana and France and between New Orleans and France. It’s a great honor to be here today to present this marker,” said Etienne.
During a ceremony in mid-July, founder and chevalier David Villarrubia (villa-roo-b-ah) accepted the marker from the French Ambassador. The ceremony also celebrated Bastille Day and Edgar Degas’ 185th birthday. A number of dignitaries from New Orleans, France, and around the world attended the event. More than 250 people were present.
The Maisons des Illustres network includes the homes of writers, musicians and composers, actors, scientists, designers and world leaders, such as Monet, Renoir, Cezanne, Napoleon, Cartier, Yves Saint Laurent, Marie Curie and Jeanne d’ Arc, among many others.
The Degas House is the only surviving past home and studio of the French Impressionist who completed 18 paintings, four drawings, and three letters at this location.
Of the 236 Maisons des Illustres properties in the network, Degas House is the second home in the United States to be recognized with this distinction, and only the fourth outside of the French territories.
Founded in 1996, the Degas House in New Orleans is the only home or studio of the French Impressionist Master, Edgar Degas, open to the public in the world. The Degas House Museum and Foundation conducts guided tours with Degas’ great grandnieces as tour guides and docents. Degas House also hosts weddings, receptions and corporate events in the spacious parlors, gallery and courtyard.